FolkWords Reviews

‘String Theory’ from We Banjo 3 - revitalised rhythms, mesmerising melodies, inventive tunes

(July 21, 2016)

Take a large pinch of Irish tradition, mix with a similar portion of American heritage, pour in a large slice of innovation, then blend in strong tinges of Appalachian legacy, bring to the boil through the dazzling musical talent and dexterity ... the result is ‘String Theory’ the latest album from We Banjo 3 (a different approach to a band name considering there are four of them). And that sums up this band, unexpected, innovative, overflowing with energy and essentially, different.we banjo three album cover

Sometimes called ‘Irish Bluegrass’ or for the perpetual name-inventors, ‘Celtgrass’, this music takes the best ingredients of its collective folk and roots customs to whip up a brew that breaks boundaries and redefines classification. Long and intricate twist the links between Celts and the Americas, untwining the relations of influence is impossible. The simplest solution is refrain from placing the music on ‘String Theory’ into any identity-boxes and simply go with the flow of original compositions, revitalised rhythms, mesmerising melodies, inventive tunes ... and enjoy the result.

The songs come from deep wells of feeling, ‘This Is Home’, opens and instantly focuses your attention with its message of hope, the infectious and effervescent ‘Happiness’ is one of those songs that simply put a smile on your face, while the raw sentiment of ‘Trying To Leave’ is obvious. The tune sets include get-up-and-groove delights like ‘Good Time Old Time’, the mix of ‘Kentucky Grind’ and sparkling ‘Aunt Jemima’s Plaster’.

‘String Theory’ delivers gentle tunes hand-in-hand with irrepressible foot-stomping reels and jigs entwined with expressive ballads, never has the banjo been taken to so many places it never thought to go. We Banjo 3 take you through a concoction that you’ll want to savour again, and again. Find them here: www.webanjo3.com

Review: Tim Carroll

Click here to return to the FolkWords Reviews page